YouTube got a major redesign today, which I think looks pretty spectacular for a site of its size, but which also, as the New York Times notes, is clearly an attempt to drive the "Channel" concept into your skull.
Until a few months ago, I had never subscribed to a YouTube Channel. The value never occurred to me.
But because launching this site forced the concept onto me, I'm now subscribed to a couple dozen channels. Most of them suck. But a handful are magical.
Take the "video" above, Howard Stern interviewing Quentin Tarantino, uploaded by user M076n7. I have no idea the identity of user M076n7, but it's some wonderful human being out there who uploads all the big Howard Stern interviews. I don't have SiriusXM Radio (another value proposition lost on me), so it's practically miraculous to have these interview clips just show up in my YouTube subscription queue.
The idea of "subscribing" to channels on YouTube still seems foreign to most people, even people who frequently do the same type of action with their DVR or RSS reader. I don't know why that is exactly, but it seems to have something to do with not thinking of YouTube content as episodic in the same way as, say, a favorite blog or tv show. And the paradox is that despite the millions spend on original programming, the best stuff on YouTube is oftentimes not made for YouTube.
Or in this case, it's not even video.